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Old 10-24-2012, 10:51 AM   #1
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need electrical help

I just bought an older security traveler pickup camper........... where it plugs in to outside electricity the plug reads 35 AMP 120 volts. It has three straight bar prongs.... the bottom one horizontal and the top two at slight angles. I need to be able to plug it into an outside power source and I am completely unfamiliar with this type of plug. I am thinking that the camper is late 1970s and maybe 1980s do you have any suggestions?
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:22 AM   #2
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You just need an adapter to use household electric, any R?V parts store can help you. First look though your Camper to see if the is one. It will be a female of you end and a male to regular plug.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:29 AM   #3
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huge thanks!
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:04 PM   #4
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I have seen plugs and outlets (Both box and cord end type) in that config at Lowes or Home Depot. The only thing I do not know is which wire is white as they say.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:13 PM   #5
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on the plug there will be a number in addition to the 35 amp 120 volts. go in home depot electrical department. go to were the bags are, wire nuts, etc. they have what most electricans carry. the uglies book, quick referance for the field. they have the numbers and pictures of the outlets and plugs along with the wiring diagram. just ask one of the associates where they are. book is app. 3"x5" app $10 and gives all sorts of info. amps to wire size, wire to conduit size, transformers, basic motor wiring, plug and outlet id. if you're an electrican it's a must have. to save walking take a picture in the store with you.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:59 PM   #6
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Here's a link to a plug that would fit your described circuit, but look locally, I'm sure you can do better on price. 30 Amp/125 Volt Plug | Marinco

If you can buy stranded #10 size conductor wire, you could make your own cord with proper male and female ends probably cheaper than buying one and having to cut the end off to add the proper plug.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:08 PM   #7
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Be VERY, VERY careful. The three pin connectors (TT-30) that provide 30A power to RVs look a lot like connectors for the 220V stove and clothes drier outlets. They ARE NOT THE SAME. It is possible to mis-wire a TT-30 and burn up your microwave, TV set, clocks and any other mains electrical thing in your RV. I'm a bit concerned at you description of "three straight prongs". Current standard outlets have two rectangular prongs at "10 o'clock" and "2 o'clock" and one with a flat bottom and rounded top at the "6 o'clock position. molded on the face are the words "recreational vehcle use only" and "30A 125V".

Many RVs have a captive power cord that is hard wired to the vehicle. Older ones might have a cord that plugs in at the camper end and at the power socket end. You might have a camper wired that way but not have the cord for it. From your description of the socket in the camper wall, I think that's the case.

You can buy at Camping World and RV parts shops for sure and maybe also at Lowe's, Home Depot, "Do-it" or Ace hardware stores, a cord to hook up from a 30A power pedestal at a campground to your camper.

If you just want to have power to the camper at home, but not run a lot of high-power things, you can get a short pigtail that has the 30A socket on one end and a regular 15A domestic plug on the other. Plug your Camper cord into the connector in the camper wall. Plug the 30A end of the adapter pigtail onto the other end of the camper umbilical and then you can plug the 15A end into a regular house-type outlet. Putting in a 30A circuit is a project for this winter.

I'm hooked up like that at home until I get a "proper" 30 Amp ciruit wired to an outside plug. With that set-up, I can run the microwave and the TV set, or a hair drier, or a space heater.

The power available is 20 Amps at 115 Volts which is around 2 kilowatts. I can't run the water heater electrical element and I have to be careful not to put too much load on, or the house breaker will trip.

If you decide to get an electrician to put a 30A service in for you to run more power from the house, make sure he knows the difference between an RV 30A service and a drier circuit. There's a thread on the forum that has a link to a wiring diagram and description, with pictures. I'll go find it and post it in this thread also.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:10 PM   #8
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Put in "NEMA Connector" on Wikipedia for a chart. Probably a TT-30
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankdamp View Post
Be VERY, VERY careful. The three pin connectors (TT-30) that provide 30A power to RVs look a lot like connectors for the 220V stove and clothes drier outlets. They ARE NOT THE SAME.
The TT-30 is the same plug, BUT it is wired differently. I wouldn't hesitate to buy TT-30 male plug, a 30 amp locking plug that I believe the OP described, and a length of 10/3 cord to make a cord to hook up his trailer to a 30 amp campground post.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:00 PM   #10
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First I must thank everybody for all their input! As far as I can trace the security traveler camper, it was manufactured in Boise Idaho and the manufacturer is no longer in business. I am definitely going to ransack every nook and cranny of the trailer looking for a power cord that connects. Also I will take a picture of it on my camera and take it in to the local RV place and see if they don't have any ideas. It may be that because I'm just one state away from the original manufacturer that they will have seen this problem before. It may be that the plug was proprietary and I may need to just go ahead and replace it. If I do, what type of plug would you recommend to avoid future compatibility issues. At the moment it is just going to be used as an ultra-private escape hole for a 16-year-old teenage boy, but eventually he may wish to stay in an RV park close to college……… mainly to avoid the whole dormitory scenario. Yes I have a very geeky child, and because of extremely acute hearing he has very little patience with noisy surroundings………. And music of any type is a huge sensory overload. If worse comes to worse, I could temporarily just run an outdoor electrical cord through the window to a surge protector strip this would be sufficient to run the kids computer and a CFL lightbulb. Between the light, the monitor, the computer tower the entire wattage required would be less than 600w…………… Which brings me to my next question………….. what on earth is in the camper that requires 35 A of electricity? The circuit breakers in the house for each room only range from 15 A to 20 A, unless you're counting the kitchen. While I have the camera out I will be sure to take pictures of the propane heater, the stove etc. and see if I can't trace down some manuals for the individual appliances. The overall shape of the camper and the layout is so perfect for our needs that I don't mind putting a little bit of extra money into it to bring the electricity up to par. A ballpark figure on what it would cost to have the electrical outlet replaced would be appreciated so I would know if a quote was way out of line. I'm about a 40 min. drive out from Spokane Washington. And does it require an RV electrician or would any certified electrician be able to do the job?
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:14 PM   #11
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30-amp power was a standard RV hook-up for a long time. Many bigger rigs are 50A these days. 42' Class A with triple a/c's, a washer and dryer, sometimes an electric stove or a convection/microwave can gobble up a lot of power.

A lot of CG's nowadays have the 50A pedestals, but usually also have a 30A on the same post. Since my MH is wired for 30A, I carry a 50/30 adapter pigtail, but I've only been to one CG that was 50A only.. I also have a 15-30 pigtail to plug into the garage outside regular household style socket until I get my 30A service installed.

In your case, I'd be tempted to change the 1970's-vintage connector in the camper to a current style TT-30. At least you'd have something compatible with a lot of campgrounds
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankdamp View Post
In your case, I'd be tempted to change the 1970's-vintage connector in the camper to a current style TT-30. At least you'd have something compatible with a lot of campgrounds
X2
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:38 PM   #13
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As for "what's going to take 30 amps"? probably nothing. possibly everything if it is all on. the unit will have 12v lighting, probably a propane furnace, probably a fridge, a battery and associated charger, all that stuff.
Most notably, if it is air conditioned, that alone will draw about 17 amps.

I also would redo it to use a current modern 30 amp twistlock RV connection.
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:39 PM   #14
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What is the main breaker rated for inside the camper?
How many other breakers does it feed in the breaker box?
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